The most compelling feature about ShopSavvy is NOT the ability to scan a barcode, instead it is the ability to expose inventory and pricing information from local retailers. In the Android version of ShopSavvy our standard screen had a Web tab and a Local tab that exposed the number of results for each. If the user scans an item that we don’t have a local result for we show “0″ as the number of results. Over the past year we have regretted this decision as users will email us letting us know they aren’t pleased we don’t have local results. In our iPhone version we fixed this issue.
In the iPhone version of ShopSavvy if you scan an item WITHOUT local prices we simply show a tab that says “Prices”. If we have local prices we show the two tabs, i.e. Web and Local price. By not calling attention to the fact that we don’t have a local price for an item we don’t get many emails from annoyed users relative to local results. Of course, in our world, not many is hundreds so I thought I would explain how to get local results on ShopSavvy.
Most new users (i.e. the vast majority of support emails) download ShopSavvy at their house and begin scanning items they already to own. Many of these items are grocery related and we don’t cover groceries very well (read more here). The rest are old books and DVDs – many of these are still available online, but they are no longer in local stores. These ‘DEMO’ scans often yield poor results, a) the items are no longer sold in local stores, b) they are of groceries and c) the barcodes are hard to read. We have received hundreds of negative ratings from these users even though they have never actually tried to use ShopSavvy to shop. My advice? Use ShopSavvy when you shop – you will be surprised how helpful ShopSavvy can be.
The reason ShopSavvy performs well in retail stores is fairly obvious. First, the items sold in one retail store are likely sold in other retail stores – meaning we will have local inventory and price. Major local retailers carry between 10,000 and 100,000 items – this is out of millions of items. Second, the lighting in retail stores is often far better than the lighting in your house – this means scanning will be faster. Third, the barcodes are almost always printed on flat surfaces – this means scanning will be faster. Trying to scan items in your house means you are scanning items that might not be currently sold, might have hard to read barcodes and scanning in low light. Before you give us a poor review or rating, please actually use ShopSavvy when you are shopping for Christmas.